South Texas Plains
2010 Census - 3,296
2000 Census - 3,487
Kenedy, Texas
Kenedy Texas History:
Kenedy was established in 1886 on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway on land that was part of a royal Spanish land grant made to Carlos Martinez in 1788. It is located on a tract of land purchased by Mifflin Kenedy from George Little in 1886, and was originally named Kenedy Junction in honor of Miffin Kenedy. A small train depot was located adjacent to the Railroad Hotel. The Kenedy Junction Post Office was established in March, 1887; in June the name was shortened to Kenedy. The post office was located in the Railroad Hotel before being relocated to the old Daileyville Store. W.E. Thulemeyer, who established a cotton gin in 1891, was instrumental in bringing in German farmer settlers from Fayette County. Fraternal organizations established in Kenedy include the Kenedy Lodge No. 774, Woodmen of the World, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Woodmen of the World tombstones are located in the Kenedy Cemetery. In the early 1900s Kenedy was named “Six Shooter Junction” because of its reputation for gun fighting. The town incorporated in 1910. In 1915 the railroad discovered hot mineral water while drilling for water near the depot. This discovery prompted the building of the Kenedy Hot Wells Sanatorium. The bathing facilities were located inside the Hot Wells hotel and were operated until 1950. The main industries in Kennedy and the surrounding area include farming, ranching, oil, gas and uranium. Kenedy, the largest town in Karnes County, calls itself the “Flax Capital of Texas” and at one time had an annual Flax Festival. The town has placed historical markers around town describing Kenedy’s colorful past. Kenedy is located 5 miles from the San Antonio River at the intersection of U.S. 181 and SH 72, 60 miles southeast of San Antonio, 7 miles southeast of Karnes City, 10 miles southwest of Runge, 16 miles southeast of Falls City, 12 miles southeast of Panna Maria, 18 miles southeast of Cestohowa, 10 miles southwest of Helena, 25 miles southwest of Yorktown, 33 miles southwest of Nixon, 32 miles northwest of Goliad, 32 miles northwest of Beeville, 57 miles north of Mathis, and 33 miles northeast of Three Rivers, Texas.
Historic Town of Kenedy, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“The town of Kenedy occupies a site that once was part of a royal Spanish land grant to Don Carlos Martinez. American settlement in the area began after the Texas War for Independence (1836). Land for a townsite was purchased in 1886 by railroad promoter Mifflin Kenedy, for whom the community was named, and a post office was established the following year. Kenedy's early growth was attributed to its position as a major stop on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad. Early buildings in Kenedy included a church, store, and cotton gin. By 1906, businesses in the town included newspaper offices, a bank, livery and feed stables, and one of the largest cotton compresses in the state. Incorporated in 1910, Kenedy gained a reputation for gun fighting that earned it the name "Six Shooter Junction." In 1915, hot mineral water was discovered near the depot, and the Hot Wells Hotel and Bath House was a thriving business for nearly 25 years. An alien detention camp was located on the outskirts of town during World War II. Although passenger train service no longer runs through Kenedy, this historic town remains an economic center for the surrounding agricultural area.” A self-guided tour map of Kenedy’s historical sites is available at the Chamber of Commerce at 204 2nd Street.(830) 583-3223.
Historic St. Matthews Episcopal Church, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Episcopal worship services were held in Kenedy as early as 1899, though the congregation of St. Matthew's was not organized as a mission until 1913, by the Rev. Alfred R. S. Garden. Designed by Frank Corby, this was the only Episcopal church in the county when completed in 1916. The Gothic Revival style structure, in a Latin cross plan, features tall, narrow, pointed-arch windows, fabricated buttresses, and a side entry bay narthex. A crenelated tower was rebuilt with a gabled roof following damage in a 1942 hurricane.”The church is located at 309 South 5th Street. A self-guided tour map of Kenedy’s historical sites is available at the Chamber of Commerce at 204 2nd Street.(830) 583-3223.
Historic Butler Family Cemetery, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“This cemetery was part of the original homestead of William Green and Adeline Burris Butler, who had migrated to Texas with their families before the Civil War. Eventually their ranching interests included land in five South Texas counties. Emmett, their 20-year-old son, killed in December 1884, was the first person buried in the graveyard. Among the 40 graves are members of Butler's family who were reinterred here from other sites. Some of their gravestones exhibited earlier dates than 1884. The cemetery, maintained through a trust fund, continues to serve the family.” From Kenedy take U.S. 181 north to FM 719. Go east on FM 719 for 0.5 miles. The cemetery is located behind the Karnes County Cemetery. A self-guided tour map of Kenedy’s historical sites is available at the Chamber of Commerce at 204 2nd Street.(830) 583-3223.
Historic Kenedy Alien Detention Camp:
This World War I training camp was used as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp (under FDR), and then it became an internment camp for prisoners of World War II. The camp was located on the outskirts of Kenedy. A self-guided tour map of Kenedy’s historical sites is available at the Chamber of Commerce at 204 2nd Street.(830) 583-3223.
Toadyville Tours:
Kenedy has been designated the “Horned LizardCapital of The World” by the Texas state legislature. Visitors may schedule toad tours through the Kenedy Chamber of Commerce from May through November. Victors may also pick up a self-guided tour map of Kenedy’s historical sites. (830) 583-3223. The chamber is located at 204 2nd Street.
WPA Post Office Murals History:
During the Great Depression FDR created the New Deal Program to provide jobs for out of work American men by funding construction projects to build post offices and other buildings, and state and local parks. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created in May, 1935, under the New Deal Program. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, later known as The Section of Fine Arts, put artists to work by funding Post Office Murals to be placed in the new post offices. Though the majority of the post office art consists of oil paintings on canvas, other art mediums were also used. The murals are located in every state. Post Office Murals Photos
Kenedy WPA Post Office Mural, 1939:
The "Grist for the Mill" mural was painted by Charles Campbell in1939. This mural was painted as part of the New Deal Arts Murals during the Depression. (830) 583-2119. 223 South 2nd Street, 78119.    
Kenedy Public Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. *830) 583-3313. 303 West Main Street.